CAIR-CAN: ‘Gitmo North’ Detainees on 53-Day Hunger Strike
ACTION ALERT: 53 DAY HUNGER STRIKE AND COUNTING
(OTTAWA, CANADA, 1/17/17) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) is asking all Canadians to urge government officials to enter into negotiations with hunger strikers Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, and Hassan Almeri. The three have been on hunger strike for 53 days, 42 and 42 days respectively, so that their voices can be heard and reasonable demands, outlined below, can be met.
The men are being held without charge, on secret evidence, under the security certificate in the Kingston Immigration Holding Center, also dubbed Guantanamo North.
In a January 8 open letter the three wrote:
We are writing to you because the government of Canada will not speak with us. We are three Muslim men who have been detained under a security certificate, without charge or bail, for between 5 and 6 and-a-half years. We are not allowed to know the evidence against us.
Many groups such as Amnesty International have called security certificates fundamentally flawed and unfair. The United Nations has criticized Canada for this practice. Right now, the Supreme Court is deciding what Canada should do about them.
We have been very patient and done our best to deal with a process where it is impossible to defend yourself. And we will remain patient, because we know that ultimately, we will be let out, because we are innocent men.
But sometimes there is only so much human beings should be required to accept before they raise their voice in peaceful protest.
Right now we are on a liquid-only hunger strike protesting the conditions of our detention. For Mohammad Mahjoub, it is day 45, for Mahmoud Jaballah and Hassan Almrei, it is day 34. We do not want to be on hunger strike. It is hard on us and our families. But it is the only voice we have.
When we were detained in Toronto, there were many hunger strikes protesting our conditions of detention. Because of this, the new facility at Millhaven was built, and now we are three hours away from our loved ones. Many of the things promised to us, such as educational programs and a library, have not happened.
We do not have the same rights as convicted criminals to trailer visits with our families. And now we are faced with the denial of medical care. In one case, shots for Hepatitis C have not been given since September 2, 2006. Surgery for a knee injury and a double hernia have not been scheduled, even though we have been here since April, 2006.
Our demands are very simple (see below for link to full text)
Please contact your Member of Parliament, write a letter to the newspaper, and call Stockwell Day, and ask him that he fix the problems at KIHC. The pain we feel from a lengthy hunger strike is also felt by our families and friends, who worry so much about us. Secret trials are a wound to Canadian democracy. Justice for our situation can help heal that wound.
Contact government officials and urge them to enter into negotiations with the hunger strikers using a translator and neutral third party.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Minister of Public Safety
VP, Enforcement, Canadian Border Security Agency
Minister of Immigration
Include your Minister of Parliament in any correspondence. You can find their coordinates at: